Doctoral Thesis: Resonant Spatial Light Modulation: Optical Programming and Sensing at the Fundamental Limit

Friday, April 29
11:00 am

Haus Room (36-462) and online via Zoom

Chris Panuski


Why can’t we make Star Wars’ Princess Leia hologram? Despite similar requirements for applications ranging from brain imaging to quantum control, the fast, efficient, and compact manipulation of multimode optical signals remains an open goal. Here, I will discuss my development of high-finesse photonic crystal cavity arrays as a solution to this problem. Specifically, I will describe how we combined inverse-design, wafer-scale fabrication, parallel post-fabrication trimming (enabled by our open-source software for optical tweezer array generation), and microLED-based optical control to demonstrate nanosecond- and femtojoule-order spatial light modulation.

Operated in reverse, our device constitutes a high-spatial-resolution focal plane array. Surprisingly, we discovered that the associated sensitivity is ultimately dictated by statistical temperature fluctuations. I will present our theoretical and experimental characterization of the resulting fundamental thermal noise limits for microcavities, discuss their impact on proposals for room-temperature optical quantum computing, and introduce noise cancellation techniques to enable continued development in quantum optical measurement, precision sensing, and low-noise integrated photonics.


  • Date: Friday, April 29
  • Time: 11:00 am
  • Location: Haus Room (36-462) and online via Zoom
Additional Location Details:

Thesis Committee:
Dirk Englund (Thesis Advisor), Associate Professor of EECS
Isaac Chuang, Professor of Physics and EECS
James Fujimoto, Elihu Thomson Professor of EECS

Zoom Details:
Meeting ID: 989 5282 8032